Did you know that there is a day in the calendar called ascension day? May 14th apparently, I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated it. I propose we celebrate it with something light and airy, maybe meringue. Uhm, anyway, back to the bible. We’ve only got a few verses today and they can be read here.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of Good Friday (Jesus’ death) or Easter Sunday (Jesus’ resurrection), but consider this – the ascension is the day that the Son was reunited with the Father, in a sense this is Jesus’ coronation day! How awesome is that, after 40 days of appearing to individuals and groups proving that he had indeed come back from the grave Jesus is enthroned on the right hand side of the Father and his crown of thorns is swapped for a crown of glory!
Is Jesus’ work done now that he is returning to heaven? Is he going to enjoy his new crown and just relax with his Father? As we’re going to see as we follow through Luke’s second book (Acts) the answer is an emphatic NO. He is going to provide his followers everything that they need to follow in his footsteps and spread the good news of his life, death, resurrection and ascension across the whole world. The thing for us to remember is that we have a living Lord Jesus who sits at the right hand of the father, who cares for us individually, who provides everything we need to carry out his work here on earth and who intercedes for us with the Father!
What then should our reaction to this be? I propose that we follow the disciples example: “Then they worshiped him…and they stayed continually at the temple praising God”. The ascension is the culmination of the Lord Jesus’ victory over death and Satan – his work here on earth is complete and he is returning to the Father to intercede for us – the only appropriate response is to worship him! The Jews did not worship Moses, Abraham or the prophets – worship was reserved for God. This is the first time that we see the apostles in one accord that Jesus is indeed God and worthy of our worship.
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.” (Psalm 24:3, 7-8)